tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC August 23, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PDT
hi, how's it going? whatever you're looking for, start by test-driving nearly every make and model all in one place. carmax. start here. this morning my question, can high school football heal a community? plus, the attorney general comes to town. and, when just showing up is the most important thing you can do. but first, all eyes remain on ferguson. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. it's now two weeks since 18-year-old michael brown was shot and killed by a 28-year-old police officer, darren wilson, in ferguson, missouri. wilson is currently on paid
administrative leave. it's been two weeks since the ferguson community was thrust onto the national scene. for two weeks residents there have been seeking answers and demanding justice while trying to make sense both of the killing of an unarmed teenager and the militant police response to their protests. and yet two weeks into this story with so many questions still unanswered, there are signs that relative normalcy is slowly returning to ferguson. as last night marked the third straight night with peaceful demonstrations that resulteded in zero arrests. a touch of normalcy is also returning in the form of high school football with four local team games being played this weekend, one today with normandy high school where the school will retire number 14 commemorating the year michael brown graduated. students will go back to school on monday. but even as routines return, the family of michael brown and the ferguson community will continue to have to wait for answers, likely at least as long as mid-october.
that is the estimate from wen prosecutors will finish presenting evidence in michael brown's case and for the grand jury to consider criminal charges against officer darren wilson. and so it is clear, even while some things like school, football, and quieter streets are returning, as the parents of michael brown prepare to bury their child on monday, it will be quite some time before normal can return to ferguson and of course the protests of recent weeks force us to question if normal is even desirable, if everything now simply returns to normal, will the movement in missouri have failed? joining me now from ferguson is reverend osajipu who is a pastor for formation and justice at the first baptist church in jamaica plains, massachusetts. and reverend karl kenny, a columnist at faith and values and adjunct professor at the university of missouri. nice to have you both. >> thank you. it's a blessing to be here. >> good morning, melissa. >> you've been on the ground and you've been working with young
people as well as communities there. at this moment after three nights without tear gas, three nights without the militant response of police, what are the current sort of feelings, emotions in their communities? >> i mean, young people are in a deep amount of pain here. the very idea of returning to normalcy has to be interrogating, given the fact that normalcy itself is unjust, that between 2000 and 2012 unemployment among fergusons has doubled. to return to the current situation would be to return to an unjust situation very much like new orleans. after hurricane katrina 0 to the same situation, return it to an unjust status quo. young people are our leaders. we are in a situation where
black youth are leading, simply many are playing catch-up in their commitment of radical civil disobedience and noncompliance. given that the police have de-escalated their more militant tactics does not mean there's not heavy police presence. there's still armored tanks on the street. they're just parked on parking lots. but they are still here and people are still suffering. >> so, i so appreciate that. that's what i'm trying to get at here is this idea that normal is the thing that we are going for. in part, reverend kenny, you grew up in missouri. spent three decades in north carolina. returned to missouri relatively recently. and as you look at the circumstances in ferguson, is normal as peaceful, even, the thing we should be striving for or is there simmering unrest that we ought to want to continue not for purposes of
harming the community but for changing it? >> we have to admit that it took decades to systematically deconstruct this community and changing, shifting the tide back to something that appears to be normal is going to take a little more time. there's been an abandonment of this community. there's been the white flag, the black community has abandoned this community. there's a level of fragmentation that exists that is unparalleled and is going to take more than a few protests, a few tears, and a funeral to put the rest of the pain in this community. >> reverend sekou, a lot of kfgs about the role of media, the role of organizers who are not necessarily indigenous to the community but who have come with a great deal of experience. but are the people of ferguson beginning to feel like as we return to a normal sense of
policing that, in fact, the attention will go away? in other words i'm wondering, are they worried about an abandonment that may be right on the who arehorizon? >> we've witnessed the emergence of young black leadership from here. a young rapper and others who are engaging in organizeiorgani. that is very important. we've needed the national attention. we've needed the reality of journalists being arrested for people to continue to pay attention to what's happening here. and so of course people are frustrated. they are in pain. they are concerned. there are many people like myself who went to high school in st. louis and who are not going to abandon this community but we are in for the long haul. and then i also want in terms of the kind of peace compensation people are having, we want to be clear about there will be no
peace here until there is an indictment and an arrest of darren wilson, until the demilitarization of the policing forces of this community, until there's firm economic investment in which the numbers of unemployed have decreased. and so what we are facing with and the task of clergy are to stand with these young people who are engaginging in civil disobedience and noncompliance. that is our moral and ethical responsibility not to lead them, not to preach down, but to stand by with them and to bear witness with them. >> reverend, i want to draw on one other possible remembrance here. reverend sekou brought you up the point of hurricane katrina and the abandonment and the experience of post katrina. i was saying earlier the ferguson situation more than anything i've ever covered puts me in mind of that moment. but there's another moment that you and i shared living in
durham, north carolina, when there was an accusation of rape against the duke lacrosse team. as that accusation began to fall apart, so, too, did larger structural issues around race and gender and injustice. and i guess part of what i'm wondering whether or not the longer term conversation, the bigger structural issues can sustain no matter what happens in the stid case of officer wilson and the killing of michael brown. >> i think you're correct to raise that question. as we learned from durham, north carolina, there were some core issues that had had to be addressed related to the case in the duke lacrosse rape case. i'm afraid once the cameras leave, once the protesters leave, once the people from the outside go back home, that this particular issue is going to be lost in the midst of the community that is continuing to grapple with what it means to
exist. as i stated it took years of systemic destruction to bring this community to this particular place and it's going to take some very aggressive work on the part of both the black and white community to bring it back together again. when you have a community that has leadership that is predominantly white and manages a community, when you have city council that is predominantly white and a mayor who states publicly that there is no racial problem in this community, then you have a problem that will not go away once the protesters -- it bears me when you raise the question of ferguson to those in the state, white people within the state, that they want to question the looters. they want to talk about the rioters. they don't want to address the fact that a boy, an 18-year-old boy, and i mean boy in the sense of his youth, is dead. and there's a system that helped create that type of misery and so it's going to take more than this and my challenge to clergy,
my challenge to leadership, my challenge to those who come here to spend time with the row testers, once this is over, let us not forget that something happened here that could happen again. one more point, melissa, there's another tragedy within this community. powell who was killed senselessly by police, who is a young man who struggled with mental illness being was obviously the case -- >> and i promise you that is going to be a continuing part of our coverage here on this this show. we're going to talk about that case as we go. on a quick personal note let me say to reverend sekou who i attended seminary with and to reverend karl kenny, my minister during the years i lived in durham, north carolina, that i have a great deal of personal satisfaction and pride in seeing both of you standing there continuing to do the work that i have known you to do for years and years, and i am so happy
that you are in ferguson, missouri, giving me some hope about what will happen. thank you so much for joining me this morning. this morning right here in new york city, preparations are under way for a march led by the reverend al sharpton and the family of eric garner, the stat statten island man who died following his interaction with police back in july. the news on that and much more out of ferguson when we come back. >> we want this to be a transcendent moment for this city. we've experienced a tragedy with the death of eric garner, but this is not about a single incident or being mired in the past. this is about a very purposeful and consistent effort forward. eg what you're made of. why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain... ...it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help
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while the country focuses on the shooting death of michael brown in ferguson, missouri, by a police officer, we cannot forget eric garner who died in police custody on staten island, new york, from an apparent chokehold. according to the snok medical examiner his death was caused primarily by compression of the neck and chest and his positioning on the ground while being retrained by police. in less than two hours reverend al sharpton and president of the national ak network will lead a march called we will not go back. with the family of eric garner. the march is set to end at the staten island district attorney's office where a rally demanding justice for garner will begin at 1:00 p.m. joining me with more on today's march is ed todd johnson, a multimedia correspondent, for the gre owe.com. todd, what can we expect and who can we expect to see at today's march? >> good morning, melissa. you can expect a whole lot of activity and a whole lot of defensemmonstrators here to rem eric garner's life and also ask
for action, asking for for change and a new kind of training and tactics from the new york police department. there's not a lot going on right now. it's relatively calm. there are buses of defensemmonss that have arrived. there's been a lot of changes that have had to happen to make this rally possible this morning. a number of businesses in the area here on staten island have closed in and ticipation of everyone being here today to avoid problems or disruptions that may occur to their businesses. that's certainly in play. there's been a lot of service changes from the mta in getting people over here. so that's also something to consider. people are going to gather around the place where eric garner lost his life to about half a mile from here. they're going to remember him and kind of kick things off before they, as you say, march to the district attorney's
office be and then gather nearby where i am right now right outside of the 120th precinct of the police department here. and as far as speakers, as you mentioned, the family of michael brown will be here joining with the family of eric garner. they may or may not speak. certainly reverend sharpton will address the crowd. there will be retired new york police officers who did not see eye to eye with how this entire thing was handled and senl how eric garner lost his life last month. so that's something that viewers can expect. kind of hearing former police officers themselves do not agree with how everything was handled. >> the g rio's todd johnson in staten island, new york. i know there are conflicting reports whether michael brown's family will be able to be there. as you point out there's a solidarity and can connection between these two families and the men that they have lost. i appreciate your reporting this morning. after the break we go back to ferguson where the unrest may
be calming down but the push for change is just beginning. we'll take a closer look at how to turn a moment into a movement. >> we wouldn't have outsiders coming, it will be a little bit better. these people here are trying to get along, just trying to get through. nts of spinach,carrots and peas. [guy] you love it so much. yes you do. but it's good for you, too. [announcer] healthful. flavorful. beneful. from purina. mom usually throws a gogurt in there. well mom's not here today so we're doing things dad's way. which means i get... two. (singing) snack time and lunch. (singing) snack time and lunch. gogurt because lunch needs some fun.
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we have anarchists here which we do not welcome in this community. >> the protesters have now been invaded and embedded among them are a group of instigators, some coming from other states, that want a confrontation with the police. they are seeking a confrontation with the police. >> we saw a different crowd that came out tonight. we didn't have as agitators and as i said criminals in the crowd. >> instigators, anarchists, and agitator agitators. some of the names given to the people in ferguson protest iing the killing of 18-year-old
unarmed michael brown shot at least six times by a police officer. this language of an outside instigating force was reiterated by governor jay nixon who on thursday ordered the state national guard to begin with withdrawing from ferguson after ordering them to the city on monday to provide, quote, protection. for a statement released by his office he released could course because since that time the situation has greatly improved with fewer incidents of outside instigators interfering with peaceful protesters and fewer acts of violence. with all of this talk of outside agitators, i thought it might be worth remembering these words written by martin loout er kiut jr. from a birmingham jail cell. we are caught in an inescapable network of mew talt, tied in a single garment of destiny. whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial outside agitator. anyone who would live outside the united states would never be
considered an outsider within its bounds. at the table the director of the center for constitutional rights, recently on the ground in ferguson. jamal simmons, a democratic consultant, co-host at citizen radio, and president and general counsel at latino justice. from your perspective on the ground, were the behaviors of police primarily a response to an outside agitator group interested in provoking those officers? >> no. i think the frame of outside agitators is a convenient way to ignore the demands of 99% of the protest. i was out in ferguson earlier this weekend, at the beginning of this week, and i was in a march of hundreds of people most of whom were family members. i was marching alongside teachers and preachers and students, and i actually passed
a family of 20 people all wearing orange shirts. i struck a conversation up with them and i asked, you know, you're all wearing the same shirts. what are you doing here? well, we're in st. louis for a family reunion and we thought we should come out here and march for justice. and i got out my phone and i started to tweet justice is a family affair. and as i starteded to tweet that, we were all tear gassed. >> before you can get 140 characters out -- >> before i could get 140 characters out. and this is the thing i think we need to understand about the frame of outside agitators. it is a very intentional term utilized to fracture our movements and to say that our fates are not intertwined, i think what we're seeing in ferguson is not just an issue that relates to the families in ferguson. i think it is an issue for every single family in america. >> from a pure strategic point of view, i mean, when martin loouther king jr. goes to
birmingham, he is trying to provoke the police, right? that's part of why they picked birmingham because they know connor is going to respond in some of the ways, for example, that governor nixon responded. but not because they desire some sort of negative interaction with the police, but because they are trying to reveal what the injustice is. i kept trying to say that notion of provocation, you are missing the strategy of a political movement. >> that's what activism is, right? >> you provoke the state to behave that way. >> to me if we're talking about outside agitate, i immediately think of the mainstream media who goes into a community like ferguson and tapes almost exclusively footage of looting. that is framing a narrative in a very specific way. to me people who go to sort of express solidarity, that is very different than the media coming in and sort of shaping the narrative unflatteringly. >> to express solidarity and also, juan, to bring organizing
resources. part of what happens is that communities like did yourham, n carolina, or like new orleans, might have experiences that they come to the ground to bring. that doesn't make them agitate. it makes them organizers. >> organizers. we don't need permission. we don't need permission to go to ferguson, to go to staten island. we are here. we are in solidarity. we are bearing witness to a movement particularly in ferguson led by young people who are say iing enough. this is exactly what we need to do. >> i haven't heard anybody say it quite like that. i want to pause for a second before we move on. the fact we don't need permission because that's precisely what happened when governor nixon declares on saturday afternoon there's going to be that curfew, is it drawing a line had in the sand you suddenly have to have permission to be outside. >> talk about provoking. >> yes! that was the provocation, right? >> exactly, no question. >> in fact, jamal, who in the world is advising governor nixon in this moment?
part of what has been stunning for me, so many of the people involved in this response are elected democrats. many of them elected with vast majorities of the very communities they are policing. and so it does feel to me it sets up a set of political problems for us because the solution cannot simply be, oh, get the other party in office. for most of these young people, for these families, these are the folks they voted in thinking that they did have shared interests. >> absolutely. what you learn is when you go around the country not every democrat really understands what's going on inside of all the communities. this is one of the challenges mainly for democrats to understand that we have this rising majority that's taking place which is not the same as it used to be. you're not running it to capture these mythical reagan democrat suburban voters, but they represent all different kinds and colors of stripes. what appeals to me when i watch this and listen to this, all the leaders kept coming out asking
for peace. they didn't really want peace. what they wanted was quiet. and kwai set is very different than peace. peace requires a reckoning. and they weren't really willing to do what it took to get a reckoning. it happens when you have a tinderbox, that planes the kindling was there before the match. who is going to deal with pulling some of that apart and figuring out what's going on in these communities before the match of mike brown got lit. and we still haven't really seen the political lead ership engag in the community in the way that it needs to. every day that i watch governor nixon get up there wearing a suit and tie looking like the man, he was looking like the outside governing force of the state. he never had his sleeves rolled up. he never wore a wind breaker. he never looked like he was gauged in any fundamental way. he never showed up in the community where people are marching. they are making some really fundamental mistakes about objects and how they communicate before we even get to the substance of dealing with this police officer. >> stick with us. know i make claims about history
and you may or may not believe me but i want to play again the birmingham police commissioner eugene connor. i want to you hear how close ly his language alliance with the language that we have heard this week out of ferguson about outside agitators. >> birmingham police assisted by police from the county and surrounding areas, has a situation here under control and are working around the clock to maintain law and order. if there's anybody in this nation who understands what is going on here, it is me. i know that we have sufficient manpower, enough trabd officers to keep the peace in birmingham without any outside help from the federal government. if the president is really sincere about wanting peace in birmingham, why doesn't he ask martin luther king and his bunch of agitators to leave our city? e park starts with back pain... and a choice. take 4 advil in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief.
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some local organizations in ferguson are working to translate outrage into ongoing political engagement by encouraging voter registration. "usa today's" amar madani tweet this had picture after voter registration set up swroud the quick trip. your vote is your voice, it says. jessica lee tweet this had fphoo from a voter registration in front after memorial where michael brown was killed. the local naacp has set a goal of registering about 2,000 voters by october with the focus on ferguson residents whose voter turnout rates for local elections has been less than 13% for the last three years. these efforts to boost civic electoral participation were denounced by the executive direct of the republican party. in an interview called the voter registration efforts not only disgusting but completely inappropriate. stating if that's not fanning
the political flames, i don't know what is. joining me now from detroit is reverend dr. william barber, president of the north carolina naacp. nice to have you this morning. >> how are you doing this morning, melissa? >> reverend barber, ferguson has led a lot of commentators to reflect on these prior social movements of past decades. we've been doing that ourselves on this show. i'm wondering what do you see as the necessary ingredient for building and sustaining a contemporary social movement in this moment? >> well, first, we all mourn with the brown family in ferguson and you're exactly right the long-term movement is what's necessary. i think there are four things we need to do. first, we have to communicate clearly what the ib yssue and narrative is. police that protect and serve, we celebrate them. a gun and a badge is too much power for a bigot, for a hater, and for somebody who believes
that they need to be trigger-happy. what we have it to do is communicate this now. we're talking about an 18-year-old boy being killed, an unarmed black man killed as was said earlier this week. brooks has clear ly said we mus address the subculture and the violence hiding behind the badge. that's the first thing, we have to communicate particularly what the issue is and not let people take it in another direction. and then secondly we must coordinate the anger and the grief. what i mean by that, you look at past movements, melissa, we need to have unified, long tem regardless whether the media is there or not to sustain the movement and inform the people and developing indigenous leadership. we have to support the federal -- go ahead. >> i want to taus there because i want to dig in on that. i had the opportunity to speak with diane nash, part of the critical capacity building movement as part of the civil rights movement and what she kept saying is a demonstration
is a tactic, but it is not a strategy that you need the sort of broader strategies. so many of the strategic people of previous movements are folks we never saw on camera, ella baker and bob moses, people whose names we may not even have remembered into 30, 40, 50 years later. so how do you do that? how do you do the work when there are no cameras of building that strategy, not just an action. >> well, you know, that's what we've done in north carolina, the moral movement. we've been at this over seven years and 70 weeks. even when cameras weren't there. it's not just marchers. you have to have the marchers and those marchers, i believe, come in in the daytime. they should be diverse. we should be focusing on different communities like mothers and men and children. but in addition to that we need to be holding hearings are where people can articulate the litany
of pain. it is locking people in the ghetto, denying economic opportunity and all of those things. and then further, melissa, i think you drive this point home, we have to have what i would call calling the community to build political power and not along with street protests. so we've got to register people to vote. no elected official in this country, especially missouri now, should run again without having to deal with this issue, the d.a., the police chief should not be hired, governors, whoever they are, and then we need folks who came out of the street to go back in the street and say to the brothers and sisters in the street, if you're really angry, we don't need you in the street. we need you to be the movement in the street from the bottom up. and then lastly we have to have diversity of voices, black and white, and it can't just be a black issue. it has to be diverse and religious forces who say this is a moll issue we have to deal with. >> the moral monday movement of north carolina, the naacp of
north carolina, today in detroit, michigan. thank you for joining us. >> thank you so much. when we come back, we will talk more about this question of building movement. >> i will say it again. st. louis county needs to clean its house. voters in north st. louis county and st. louis county in general need to get these people out, get the petitions out to recall this mayor. let's get rid of this chief. have him fired.
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melanin is in your skin. >> that was a missouri resident discussing the importance of having the local government that he feels represents him. still with me at the table purvi, jamal, allison, and juan. so, juan, i want to go to you. on the one hand we have this young man saying i need a government that represents me but then i want to play for you this moment with may colleague tamron hall on tuesday asking the current mayor of ferguson whether or not there is a race issue in his city. >> there's not a racial divide in the city of ferguson. >> accord iing to who? is that your perspective or do you believe that is the perspective of african-americans in your community? >> that is the perspective of all residents in our city, absolutely. >> those -- >> yes. it's so incongruity. come on. the young man was saying i want a government that represents me.
it doesn't matter the skin color. i want people who can relate -- relate -- that's what government is supposed to be about. the fact that people are trying to rejs gister voters in fergus and we have the reaction discussing the most civic mind ed event is indicative of a government that's not responsive. it's indicative after need to get rid of those leaders, organize, vote, petition and get rid of them. if a mayor of this town has no idea that the kindling, you mentioneded, jamal, was there, then he's completely disconnected from the reality and therefore needs to change and get out. >> what we've done at this point is label disgusting every level of resistance. whether we have people who are -- and whatever you think of looting, it's a form of expressing anger, maybe disillusionment. we have that. we are also calling disgusting registering people to vote, it's
sort of like, well, then where are people supposed to find an outlet to organize or he can press their grief. >> maybe they're supposed to submit. i can kept thinking i hear looting -- i get it. i get it. but the way it kept making me feel to hear conversations about property rights in the context of tear gas, purvi, we talked about this before. the notion that in order to protect this property i will compromise your health and your safety felt like a tradeoff that could only be made if you don't believe the health and safety of those people is at all relevant. >> absolutely. even more than that i think we have a broken political system. i think what you're seeing in the young people of ferguson is that they don't trust -- they don't trust the police. they also don't trust the mayor. and so i think voting on the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act is a critical strategy. i don't think just voting is going to get us there.
we have to look at the institutional bias. institutional racism in our police system, in our policing practices, the over incarceration of black and brown youth. if we want to, we have to have a multicrime strategy in which voting is one of the strategies, grassroots strategizing is fundamental. when i was in ferguson i absolutely saw organizers building the leadership of young people in ferguson and doing political education. so it's not just marches and pr protests but sitting down and having discussions about civic process. what does it mean to be civically engaged. >> i just -- we saw there some of the images, some of the protesters carrying the american flag, that iconic image of a caps ter while wearing an american flag, again, very much a reminder to me of what happened post-katrina when people were waving the american flag to ask for rescue, reminding people we are citizens and as citizens we have a right
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there was a remarkable moment wednesday in atlanta, georgia. >> i am forever thankful to god for sparing my life, and i'm glad for any attention my sickness has attract ed to the plight of west africa in the midst of this epidemic. please continue to pray for liberia and the people of west africa and encourage those in positions of leadership and influence to do everything possible to bring this ebola outbreak to an end. thank you. >> that was ebola patient dr. kent brantly from emory university hospital in his first
public appearance since returning to the u.s. for treatment. there was reason to cheer genuinely good news when it was announce that had both american ebola patients have made successful recoveries and are now being released and reunited with their families. unfortunately, that good news was tempered by reports the situation in west africa, where now more than 1,400 people have died from the disease, is growing increasingly dire. saturday at a clinic in the west point community of the capital of monrovia was raided by angry people who caused patients to flee followed by a decision by liberian president to impose a nationwide curfew, quarantined the neighborhood of west point. violence broke out between locals and the military forces tasked with enforcing that quarantine and "the new york times" reports liberian citizens were fired upon with live rounds wounding several and killing one 15-year-old boy. health officials have begun to express fears liberia's entire
health system would collapse under the weight of this crisis. joining me now on the phone from liberia is aphaluck batiasevi from the world health organization. >> we are looking at a big outbreak in the capital city. we are not dealing with a small outbreak. we are currently working at our best to prioritize what actions need to betaken immediately and to normalize the country. we are trying to work on this at an intense time. we have been supporting the
government and bringing resources in, protected equipme equipment, but we still need more. currently the priority is to stop the outbreak as soon as possible to empower the community, to engage people in the community to try and control the outbreak, to provide all the necessary care for patients as much as possible and we are working on this. it is going to take some time. things will not change in a day. >> from the world health organization on the phone from monrovia, liberia, thank you so much for joining us. and joining me at the table here in new york, dr. alexander van tulikan from the institute of international humanitarian
affairs. he has worked in humanitarian crises around the world. dock to, those images from liberia are chilling and we have just spent nearly an hour talking about curfews and restriction here in the u.s. in ferguson. is this the one moment -- is infectious disease a moment when suspension of the kind of normal aspects of human rights that would allow free movement is reasonable? >> you have a really difficult situation here because on the one hand, yes, you do need to restrict individual freedoms in a crisis like this. the reaction of the residents of west point is so strong that what's very clear is they're not onboard with the project of limiting the spread of ebola. they're not educated about ebola and they're not informed about it. as long as they're not, it's not going to work. it's about controlling individuals' behavior, hand watching, reporting cases. and if you are unable to get people onboard with that it's not going to work. i'm not saying johnson is wrong
in doing what she's doing, but it isn't working. it isn't the right thing to be doing. they have to be altering their approach and the most important thing is information their population. >> part of the reason you've had this response liberia is coming out of decades of horror and of civil war and crisis so the notion of just trusting that government to sort of barricade you in, i mean, you understand the reasonable distrust. but i guess my question then is given the speed with which this infectious disease moves versus the deliberation it would take to build trust and information, are we looking at a crisis that can't be stopped or what will be the kind of barrier that can stop it? >> no, i think -- this is definitely a containable disease. it's not that contagious. it's spread by contact with bodily fluids and we're not looking at a huge number of cases compared to something like a cholera epidemic so it is
containable. and we've only just started really pouring in the necessary resources. the guy who is running it for the w.h.o. is an absolute expert, and he is a really good guy to try to get this under control. i think the w.h.o. have not reacted fast enough, but the world health organization and other u.n. agencies are only as good as their member states. we've cut u.n. funding in half this year -- sorry, i beg your pardon, w.h.o. funding in half. >> let's come back to the u.s. for a moment. for some observers, americans who have a pharmaceutical view how you address the disease, the fact we have two people who were infected receiving a certificate up and getting better makes you feel like, so make more of the serum. >> you started by talking about ferguson and talking about ebola and human rights. this is a crisis that represents poverty and neglect akrscross a
region of the world. and the idea that a particular molecule or a particular vaccine will solve this problem is to completely miss the lessons from this epidemic. the first lesson is, we haven't spent enough on disease prevention and control and we haven't reacted quickly enough. the more important lesson is this is a region of the world we haven't cared about for a long time. we've actively neglected it. we don't invest there. weigh don't spend money there. so the idea of the health system collapsing in liberia, a very real danger, is entirely predictab predictable. we would have known this was going to happen. >> very briefly, how important was it the number of hugs that dr. kent brantly received at the end of that press conference? you know, i keep saying, contagious disease. you're like, it's not that contagious. is that part of what's going on here? >> i was watching to see if they did it and it was so wonderful. obviously they have affection for their patient but more than that they decontaminate him. if you think of your friends with hiv maybe ten years ago how
important it was to touch them and hug them in public, even though nobody really believed to be transmitted by a handshake, there was a squeamishness about it. that's the same. they need to see that in west africa. >> thank you for joining us. coming up, the impact of eric holder's visit to ferguson, why the attorney general was there and why president obama was not. ♪ [ male announcer ] when you see everyone in america almost every day, you notice a few things. like the fact that you're pretty attached to these. ok, really attached. and that's alright. because we'll text you when your package is on the way. we're even expanding sunday package delivery. yes, sunday. at the u.s. postal service, our priority is...was... and always will be...you. i'm d-a-v-e and i have copd. our priority is...was...
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. attorney general eric holder went to ferguson, missouri, this weak to check in on the justice department investigation into michael brown's death and to reassure the people of ferguson that the highest levels of government are paying attention. he made his only public remarks while visiting with fbi agents in st. louis where he explained the reason for his trip west. >> people know that a federal,
thorough investigation is being done, manned by these very capable people. my hope is that will have -- give people the degree of confidence that the appropriate things are being done by their federal government. >> attorney general holder spent the day meet meeting with members of congress and the governor with local and county and state officials including highway patrol captain ron johnson as well as local residents including the family of michael brown. he also spoke to students at a local community college where the majority are african-american and told them he understood their mistrust of the police. he said, quote, i am the attorney general of the united states, but i am also a black man. i can remember being stopped on the new jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding being pulled over, let me search through your car, look under the seats and all kinds of stuff. i remember how humiliating that was and how angry i was and the impact it had on me. he talked about a night in
georgetown when he was running to catch a movie with a friend and was stopped by police who were suspicious of black men running through the neighborhood. at the time he was already a federal prosecutor with the justice department. attorney general holder reflected on his trip in a press conference thursday in washington. >> the national outcry we have seen speaks to a sense of mistrust and mutual suspicion that can take hold in the relationship between law enforcement and certain communities. i want the people of ferguson to know that i personally understood that mistrust. i wanted them to know that while so much else may be uncertain this attorney general and this department of justice stands with the people of ferguson. >> the attorney general did not do anything dramatic while in ferguson. did not make any big announcements or news at all. what he did was show up. joining me live from ferguson is a member of the executive committee of the st. louis chapter of the naacp.
also in ferguson is the woman who met with the attorney general on wednesday. so nice to see you both. >> thank you. >> hugh are you doing? >> you had a very personal story you shared with the attorney general. can you share it with us? >> yeah. i lost my brother in 2011, the ferguson police department. he was tased to death. we're pursuing it right now. my family has an attorney and we're just hoping to find justice for mike brown and him. >> so when you talk about having lost your brother to a tasing event with the ferguson police as long ago as 2011, obviously the question of trying to get justice for you, for your family, feels delayed. did meeting with the attorney general change your feeling about the likelihood that you can get justice? >> it was definitely reassuring. it was almost like fate for me
to be here and for him to come all the way to st. louis to help us. i felt reassured when he left. he made us all feel comfortable and he wanted to know how we felt. it was amazing. mr. gaskin, i want to come to you as well because you're there in an official role as part of the naacp. what did it mean to you for attorney general holder to show up in ferguson? >> well, you just mentioned, he showed up. a lot of people here protesting have just asked for somebody to show up and speak for them, someone in leadership to show that they care, that they care about the injustices that are being taken place in our country and like she mentioned, i was in a meeting with the attorney general and various community members. when he shared had his personal testimony regarding how he's been profiled and what it's like to have a black son, i almost got emotional. but he encouraged us to take
action and to take it a step further. that's why the naacp is having a led march. we expect hundreds of youth from across the area and across the nation to be here today at 1:00 to march against racial profiling and the brutality that has gone too far with police departments across the country here today in ferguson. >> and it's interesting you say that. i want to take a listen. this is attorney general eric holder saying how it made him feel to meet with you, both of you, and with other young people there in ferguson. let's take a listen. >> to a person yesterday, the people i met, take great pride in their town. and despite the mistrust that exists, they reject the violence we've seen over the past couple of weeks. in that sense, while i went to ferguson to provide reassurance, in fact, they gave me hope. >> so there's the attorney general saying it is you all who gave him hope about something being able to be different. what do you see as the key
things you need from the justice department in order to keep this moving forward? >> well, we need people to be transparent. >> yes. >> we need people it to stay on the job. when the media leaves after the funeral, we need people to know that justice still has to be done. we received information, as you have, from are the prosecuting attorney's office saying it could be mid-october by the time the grand jury decides they want to take this to trial. there's much work to do. we need the justice department to continue to work here on the ground, to continue to do their own investigation and make sure it's thorough, tran parent, done as expeditiously as possible but it's done right. >> john gaskin in ferguson, missouri, thank you for your continued ogsal efforts and molyrik, i am hoping for justice for you and for your family. thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you so much. >> i want to bring in my panel,
purvi from the center of c constitutional rights, recently on the ground in ferguson, jamal from the raven group, allison, co-host at citizen radio and juan, president and general counsel at latino justice. . i am the attorney general but i am also a black man. that is both obvious and yet stunningly powerful in that moment. >> absolutely and we think about the history of the justice department from jay edgar hoover going forward and having this african-american man be able to stay there, go there and make this case. it's so powerful, i think, for people to be able to see that and what it means for the resources he puts behind it and i know the president appointed eric holder and he kept him there. i will tell you as a consultant i hear a lot from conservative democrats and republicans who have to work on different projects and they do not like eric holder and many people have recommended that the president get rid of eric holder as a way to rebound his poll numbers.
the president stuck by him. i think we have to own some of that, that's a good thing. >> and this goes all the way back. it's interesting you point out, not everybody loves eric holder and that the people who do love eric holder, it's surprising. i was at the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and the man got one of the most rousing standing ovations. i'm sorry, are black people applauding the attorney general? like the highest law enforcement officer in the country. but, juan, i want to go back to 2009. i want to listen to the attorney general almost immediately after president obama is elected and inaugurated and remind ourselves what he said at that time. >> though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melt iing pot in things racial we have always bob and we, i believe, continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards. >> so that nation of cowards, february 18, the president hasn't even been in office a month. they start calling for his resignation and his firing then.
and yet as much as that was the powerful moment, the attorney general talked about how we talk to each other and talk to each other. he goes to ferguson, okay, we're going to do some stuff. >> they need to do something, obviously. the question of his being there is so critically important. i would have taken it a step further if i was him. it's not just the kindling that occurred that he had a the obligation to investigate. also the response, the militarization response that i didn't hear enough about. i'm not hearing anything from the president. >> some of those tanks came from where he works. i'm not saying he sent them but some of them came from d.o.j. post-11 funds. >> supplies and arms to fight terrorism being used against citizens of the united states. >> i keep thinking about stuff like drug sentencing disparities and the fact that police militarization, the war on drugs, these are all by-products of the same thing which is institutional race i am. and while optics totally matter
and it matters that captain johnson is there, it shouldn't distract from the fact that that's just a band-aid. it's not going to fix the sickness. >> so this is interesting, this question of whether or not that visit is primarily optical, primarily to see the attorney general, mentioned his own blackness and experience or whether it is something else. he said to the community college, which we don't have sound of because it wasn't public, but he said and read later, as they write about the legacy of the obama administration, a lot of it is going to be about what the civil rights division has done. basically suggesting that, in fact, the legacy of the president and of his administration rests in many ways with eric holder, with the civil rights division and i think he would make -- i'm not sure but this suggestses that he would make a claim that they have attempted to address the structural issues. >> keep in mind the republicans have not confirmed an assistant attorney general for civil
rights. >> right. and of course we know part of why. maybe we want to remind the audience of the story. >> come on, an incredible civil rights attorney, a wonderful, incredible trajectory of civil rights enforcement done under by the fact that he actually helped to represent a man on death row. >> which was had his job. >> which was his job. >> and if we think how many representatives are prosecutors or former persecutors what does that say about our system we are focused on punishing and incarcerating. >> i'm glad you brought it up for us. this is a bit like that voter registration is disgusting, right? doing one's job as an attorney is a reason not to be appointed to the civil rights division. up next, michael eric dyson on the importance of presence. >> do you think holder's visit today, speaking with community leaders, michael brown's parents, had a calming effect on
president obama will personally chair a meeting of the security council. it will be the second time ever that a u.s. president has chaired such a meeting. the only other time it was also president obama back in 2009 when he oversaw a meeting of nuclear nonproliferation. it was clear then that the president believed his personal presence, not that of his u.n. ambassador or secretary of state, although they were there, too, but his presence at that meeting was key. so key that he was willing to be
the first. it paid off. the council passed the president's resolution unanimously. and he's doing it again. this time in a meeting about what is perhaps the united states' most pressing global security interest, counterterrorism. by choosing to be there, by chairing the u.n. security council meeting himself, a move none of his predecessors ever made, but this president will make twice. president obama making clear his understanding and the importance of being present. it is for many a stark contrast to president obama's absence from the scene in ferguson, missouri. joining me now from miami is msnbc political analyst and georgetown university professor michael eric dyson. nice to see you that morning, mike. >> good to see you, melissa. >> twitter's mad right now, fyi. in part probably because in your piece for "the washington post" you characterized the president's comments about ferguson as tone deaf, disappointing, overly cautious
to a fault, and i'm wondering why. >> well, you know, bless twitter, the twit-wits notwithstanding. you and i have been extremely supportive of this president. the thing among friends is you can say, hey, i disagree with you and i think that it is detrimental to the issues at hand for the president of the united states of america not to be there. first of all, his words being too cautious. there's one thing to strike balance, which is necessary. he doesn't want to, as he said, put his thumbs on the scale, to tip them in any way before the investigation is clear. i get that completely. but we're not talking about you putting your thumbs on the scale for the michael brown case. we're talking about you providing a balance for the history and the legacy of african-american and latino and other peoples being subjected to criminal brutality by the police, a repressive police state has executed black men in
broad daylight. that is an american problem, a presidential problem that calls for presidential bully pulpits to be in order. i think his presence would have meant something, like eric hold er. eric holder didn't say, look, guess what, we're going to lock this guy up and throw away the key. he can't promise that. he promised a fair investigation. the president similarly can go down there and say to the people, i am behind you. the resources of your government are behind you and i, as president, understand as a president and black man, attorney general and plaque m black man. i can't pretend i have the experiences that make me uniquely qualified for justice alongside that. so for me it's a balance between those two competing interests and the president has to make a difference. he went to sandy hook. he went to newtown. he went to the victims of hurricane sandy. he went to kol l coucolorado.
he's been to places. come to ferguson to show you are concerned about that population because they are, after all, american citizens. >> let me ask you, is eric holder going as a member of the obama administration? is it sufficient? i'm trying to think like a secret service person here. we don't send the president in had this moment because physically the chaos that it would cause. but i wonder because one of the things you pointed out in the piece are the ways in which the president was present after the zimmerman verdict. he represented a set of personal experiences even though he didn't go and stand in florida. he didn't go to sanford but he felt as though he were standing with people. is it about physically being there or is it about a discursive presence and eric holder being his feet on the ground? >> yeah, but, as usual, you're so brilliant. had we had one, the other might not have looked so bad.
had we had a discan cursive bone deep feeling that the president is with us, had he stood up, look at what happened after the grisly, brutal, terroristic execution of mr. foley. president obama was calm but you could tell he was upset. and this is wrong and this can't happen. now we're looking at black men in the streets of our american city being executed. that is not right. we want to see that same kind of passion. calm but still upset with the fact that this is occurring. now eric holder is great. let me tell you what. eric holder, one of the five most powerful black figures ever. obama, holder, clyburn, william gray -- these figures have been extraordinarily important in politics with but you know i'm a christian preacher and god finally said, look, i can't send nobody else. i have to go myself. i'm not saying obama is jesus, to many of his followers he is,
but i'm saying show up, dog, and show us you are seriously committed to the interests of your people because your presence says something louder than even your words. >> i think we've got to go, reverend dyson, because you just made the sentence -- i'm not saying obama is jesus and i don't want to get written up for that. thank you to michael eric dyson in miami, florida, this morning. we're laughing right now. these are serious issues. we will continue to discuss as we come back the question of what it means to be present in ferguson. s. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business, protect your family, and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
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brother's keeper in this moment. for me he seems to be a young man doing what a my brother's keeper would ask, he comes from difficult circumstances, he's working hard to finish high school, he's been admitted into his community college, his community seems to care and support him. and he was shot while unarmed in the middle of the day. the invocation of respectability program to address it was disappointing to me. >> well, it doesn't get to the issue of police abuse and criminality and criminalization of young men of color. let's talk about that. let's focus on exactly what we're talking about, police killing unarmed people. as opposed to creating respectability, that's supposed to immunize or shield you from abuse and racism. it just doesn't work that way. it doesn't work that way. >> and the president, the very
first moment in his presidency when the whole thing happened and he says the words part of why he pulls back now, a professor at harvard university is arrested in his own home. you couldn't pull your pants up any higher than skip wears his pants and it doesn't ultimately protect you. what eric holder can do is not so much keep my brothers but keep those police. part of what i'm wondering, is eric holder the right person to go in part because d.o.j. has a capacity to implement consent decrea decread decrees? what could we see them do? >> i think that the department of justice, it's very powerful that eric holder and president obama can relate, can validate the experience of the young people on the street. but beyond validation, beyond sympathy, what we need is concrete action and i think the doj could take a host of concrete steps including a comprehensive review and investigation of every single murder of an unarmed person, of
black and brown people in this country n. addition it could implement the front facing cameras that can start to actually document and record what is happening when our young people are interacting with police. >> we have 1,000 cameras on us all the time. >> exactly. we've seen the community has built that kind of response. we are encouraging young people to document their experiences with the police. the reality is what the police are saying is not what is happening. and this is absolutely a national crisis. we are talking with about the carnage of our young people and if that doesn't demand the president's attention, i don't know what does. >> you are here to represent black twitter and to talk me down -- i really am quite generally accepting his education policy, a supporter of president obama. i actually really do get the institutional and media based constraints on a president's discourse. but i kept feeling like you just said we were going to go bomb isis because of the yeah yadizi on the mountain, and i was like,
okay, i don't agree with the policy but i get the passion. i mean, am i asking for something that i should not be asking for? >> on the one hand you have my brother's keeper and the other efforts which are about helping young african-americans and others to get jobs and school. you want those things to happen. that does not mean that getting jobs is going to protect you from the police. the separate question how did we deal with the police state and the brutality people face and can for more. we know the justice department sent 40 people down to deal with this case, the attorney general is looking at some of those people who may be released ea y earlier. there's a variety of things that are at stake here in terms of dealing with this community but i think what you are getting is a broader point about the president, which is a recurring theme. the president is sort of -- he gets the lyrics right very often about what he's talk iing about
but he doesn't get the music. >> see, i disagree. i think he's the best at it. >> no, no. >> i think part of the reason he's president when he pulls from that reserve, he is one of the most extraordinary people in terms of his capacity to tell us our own story back it ourselves in a way that leads us to, you know, behave, to act, to understand ourselves in this way. i wanted the, yes, we can, in this moment. >> i think what he looks at it, okay, i go out and do a yes we can on this and then i get beaten up and everyone focuses on what i said. i can do a variety of things including sending eric holder down there, putting investigators down there, including getting a have a vari things that are going to actually work on the problem. >> that's the mix. >> i will point out i think they beat him up no matter what he does. and so given that there is maybe relatively less at stake -- >> but on this issue i would like to hear more. >> okay. up next, my letter of the week. it's not to president obama. don't worry. the potential of friday night lights on a saturday morning.
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the injustices and unrest have given us weeks of stunning images and in some cases cringe worthy analysis of the uprising. that's why my letter this week is to "time" magazine's political columnist joe klein. dear joe, it's me, melissa. i'm writing to you today about your column, beyond a simple solution for ferguson. you write a while police officer shoots an unarmed black teenager multiple times. he shot with his hands up, it is reported, at least once in the back. joe, when a community is reeling from an unarmed teen shot to death, when his body was left for hours in plain view of the community, when no arrests have
been made for his slaying, when those who are protesting the killing are met with militarized local police force and tear gas, it is not a metaphor. the people of ferguson and the nation are mourning the death of a real person. they are responding to actual events and actions taken by the local government. that this death and those actions are consistent with a long history of similar deaths and actions makes them h historically rooted not metaphorical. but the perfection of the metaphor is soon blurred by facts, you write. the gentle giant michael brown jr. seems pretty intimidating in a surveillance video. joe, seems pretty intimidating is not a fact. the fact is surveillance video shows an apparent petty crime, one that officer which wiilson know about when he stopped michael brown and one that does not carry a death sentence even if a person is guilty of committing it. an autopsy requested by brown's
parents shows six bullet rooms. the kill shot is into the top of the victim's head which raises another possibility, that the officer, darren wilson, fired in self-defense. joe, it is certainly a possibility, but let us traffic in facts. officer wilson was armed. michael brown was not. officer wilson shot michael brown. michael brown is dead. officer wilson has not been arrested. on the day that the ferguson police finally made office 0er wilson's name public, they also released the is your vil ed the you mentioned although it had no bearing on the stop of michael brown. you cite these sta ttistics, blacks represent 13% of the population but commit 50% of the murders, 90% of black victims are murdered by other blacks. joe, if you want to just cite random crime facts that have nothing to do with this case, how about this one, 83% of white victims are murdered by other
white people. your statistics about black homicide perpetrators have nothing to do with what happened august 9. we know who shot michael brown to death and it wasn't a black man. and how about this statistic, on average between 2006 and 2012 nearly two times a week in the united states a white police officer killed a black person. twice a week. that fact would suggest michael brown had plenty of reason to be afraid of darren wilson. now you go on, a debilitating culture of poverty persists among the urban under class. black crime rates are much higher than before the civil rights movement. joe, the american crime rate overall, regardless of the race of the perpetrator or victim is higher than it was in 1960. and crime has dropped precipitously since its peak in the '80s and '90s and it is not culture but rather poverty that has debilitated because it
reduces sustainable employment. as for the culture of poverty, is american jazz, blues, or hip-hop that you're referring to because those are some of the cultural products of the black american poor. and in conclusion, you write, absent a truly candid conversation about the culture that has emerged from slavery and segregation, these problems won't be solved at all. joe, we have finally found a place of agreement. the culture that emerged from slavery and segregation does require a candid conversation. we need to lay bear the assumptions held by many of white superiority and black inferiority that come from slavery and segregation, curfews, militarized police, tear gas deployed on people exercising their first amendment rights and officials who insist there is no race problem and that outside agitators are responsible for all the trouble. definitely appears to be the residue of a cultural pathology
bred by the legacy of segregation. now, joe, i would be very interested in having a candid conversation about that. sincerely, melissa. and asked for less. there's a reason it's called an "all you can eat" buffet... and not a "have just a little" buffet. because what we all really want is more. that's why verizon is giving you even more. now, for a limited time, get more data! 1 gb of bonus data every month with every new smartphone or upgrade. our best ever pricing with the more everything plan and 50% off all new smartphones. like the htc one m8 for windows or android. built to inspire envy. come get your more with verizon. mmmmmmm. look out. now there's even more of the amazing cinnamon taste you love on cinnamon toast crunch. crave those crazy squares even more. a body at rest tends to stay at rest...cs...
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graduated from shortly before his death. joining us now live from the normandy high game is msnbc.com report reporter. nice to see you, amanda. >> reporter: hi. >> so what's the mood at the game and sort of in the community as folks are planning to come to the game? >> reporter: you know, the crowd may seem sparse now but it's worth mentioning it's nearly 99 degrees out here with a heat index that may go up to 107. but still we have crowds coming out in support. normandy scored the opening touchdown here. they've just scored a touchdown again. and the crowd seems to have this very uplifted feeling. now we started off the game with a moment of violence for mike brown, and i spoke to several students here who said he's been a topic of conversation in and out of classrooms this week. she said in her classroom they were -- teach wrers trying to channel any feelings of frustration or anger that students are feeling and channel that into an educational he can pern. she said they were told to write
essays, to share their feelings about not only mike brown but also the police presence here and what it means to them and how it's affected them around the city. but for right now the students are able to come together and just be kids. >> you know, obviously a football game is not a substantive policy change but does it represent something symbolically for folks to have this opportunity to be a community again? >> reporter: that's exactly the feeling here. we have another school from across town, but really still close and they, too, have been affected by everything that's going on in ferguson. and just down -- i was it at the protests at the center early this morning, and it had this different feeling. there were religious groups that set up a barbecue stand. they were giving away free ribs to people. the mood and tenor of the protests here has really shifted be than what we saw a week ago of kind of isolated pockets and outbursts of violence and looting. >> amanda, enjoy the game.
>> reporter: thank you. >> thanks. now as we mentioned class in ferguson resumes monday and there's another issue for schools to grapple with. the gross in racial disparity in suspension rates. a little more than 87% of ferguson-florissan district students receiving suspension were blacks. they made up 91.4% of those receiving more than one suspension. the district itself was just more than 77% black that year. the education blog dropout nation sums it up like this, quote, you're a black kid attending the schools, you have at least a one in seven chance of being subjected to some form of harsh school displacipline. if you're a white kid, the chances are only two in 100. joining me now from ferguson is dr. marva robinson, president of the st. louis chapter of the association of black psychologists and of course my panel is still here with me in new york. it's nice to see you again. we talked a week ago about some
of the kind of posttraumatic stress, grief, anger that children are likely to be experiencing. we're seeing now a little bit of resilience in the context of a football game. what are you expecting in the coming weeks? >> in the coming weeks i am expecting for more emotions to come to the surface as i've been seeing but also i'm expecting to see the community to continue to rally around those who need it. i am great ifful to hear more people talking about sadness and anger and trauma and using those therapeutic words because it gives a voice to those who aren't able to use it or to those that don't have their voices televised. >> i want to come out to my panel, stay with us. i want to ask you about this in part because what i was seeing there in thames of those numbers and the kind of criminalization of kids in classrooms feels like it mirrors so much what we've been seeing on the streets in
ferguson and i wonder is there a way to tie those things so you end up with a more holistic movement? >> yeah. i was struck by those figures you just shared with us because i was thinking back to when i was in high school and how many kids had cell phones in classrooms and talked back to the teacher and like the worst we knew that would happen to us we would be sent to the principal's office. we would never be expelled from class or anything like that. and i am struck, also, by the fact that in ferguson if this was a white suburb and the police were behaving like this, hands down president obama would come out and say this is a national emergency. so either it's a national emergency when it happens all the time but we can't -- what we can can't have is it's okay if one sect of people are exposed to this kind of police violence. it's okay if one sect of children are treat this had way in classrooms. because obviously that's discrimination. >> that idea, marva, if i can come back to you for a moment, that notion that some kids receive one sort of treatment. another group of kids receive
another sort of treatment. we often see that in school systems where there are big gaps in resources. is that a reality in ferguson? >> yes. it is a huge reality. the way that st. louis and the city and county is comprised depending on which municipality or school district you're in determines what your success rate will be the. one of the first questions that anyone asks in st. louis is which high school did you go to because answering that single question alone can determine what your success rate will be, what kind of enabled you lived in, what resources you had access to. so there is a huge disparity amongst our school districts here. >> what can schools do as school begins with the recognition of what these young people have been through, what they have witnessed and what they are likely to go through in coming months, what can schools do to support these young people? >> i think schools have to acknowledge what has occurred
and not ignore the fact while kids may be sitting in classrooms that their minds may be else are where. schools have to reach out to other organizations and communities that are willing to come in and help them as well and help to educate the staff as well as the teachers and the students. but schools can also stick to great routines, increase their resources and make services for mental health available to all students. >> i want to come to you for a moment, purvi, because you were there and you experienced tear gas yourself. if you were just beginning to guess what young people who experience some of those violent police reactions will be feeling in weeks, what is it? >> i think it is -- when i was tear gassed i heard people exclaimi exclaiming, they're treating us like animals. i think the response of the police, the excessive militarization of the protests, that's the added insult to the daily indignity of being racially profiled and criminalized and dehumanized as young people.
the question of grief and trauma is a central one. when i went down there and i talked to young people and, you know, there were elders in the community saying you don't want to get arrested. you don't want to go to jail. you don't want to die out here protesting. the young people said, well, we've been dying. we've been in jail. this is at least our chance to have a different response. and i wanted to say something about the idea of protests as a community ritual of healing. when i was out there in ferguson even when the tear gas was going, i saw enormous amount of community love and exchange. and we have to return protestses and the idea of community organizing and the idea of social movements to be actually a place of healing for our communities. >> it is critically important to recognize people have a right to speak and when we silence that with bright lines and curfews and rules it does create a kind of not only personal trauma but scitizenship trauma. that's the double consciousness.
thank you to dr. marva robinson in ferguson, missouri. here on set i'd like to thank purvi, jamal simmons, allison, and juan. up next, our foot soldier of the week. >> we're out here to clean up the community. to show how we build up the community, not take it down. all of our teachers thought it would be wonderful to kick off the day with cleaning up the community on west.
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clashes between police and ferguson community delayed school in ferguson last week. classes are finally set to begin on monday. but while school was out, many ferguson area teachers were still on the job. helping their students. and that's why they are our foot soldiers of the week. teachers like carey. though her school was closed, she made sure the lessons continued. this week, pace and other teachers turned a meeting room at the ferguson public library
into a small classroom where they offered lessons in math, reading and crafts. >> at least to be here doing these sort of fun quasieducational activities and socially it's a good thing for the kids who have been really bummed out to be able to be here with some of the friends they know and they're kind of meeting new people too so it's been a good thing for everybody involved. >> dozens of educators have also used the unexpected delay to help clean up debris from nighttime unrest. in ferguson, 68% of students in the district rely on a free or reduced lunch program at school last year. so to make sure that no children were going hungry because they weren't in school, some teachers pitched in at local school cafeterias this week as well. bagged lunches were provided for the students in the ferguson floor sant school district this week and the riverview gardens district was able to supply 300
children with lunch. while the jennings district kept its cafeteria open despite school closures. teachers efforts to help out have been extended beyond the state of missouri. one fifth grade teacher from north carolina, julianna mendelson, launched a campaign to raise money for the st. louis area food bank in an effort to provide students and their families with meals. so far, she has raised more than $150,000. for not letting closed classroom doors keep them from helping their community, for reminding us that teachers are not just in the community. for reminding us that taking care of our teachers means taking care of all of us, the teachers from ferguson and beyond who are lending a helping hand are highlighted for us today as our foot soldiers of the week. and that is our show for today. tomorrow, we're going to have more show. we're going to see you 10:00 eastern. right now, it's time for a
preview of "weekends with alex wit." melissa is filling in. >> we'll meet with a college student who was in ferguson. he will tell us what he wants to hear from the attorney general. also, rand paul's humanitarian work in kuwaguatemala, was it a works or a nod to 2016? and the garbage patch floating in the ocean. we'll tell you what it's doing to the ecosystem. don't know anywhere. we'll be right back. re than something to share? what if a photo could build that shelf you've always wanted? or fix a leaky faucet? or even give you your saturday back? the new snapfix app revolutionizes local service. just snap a photo and angie's list coordinates a top-rated provider to do the work on your schedule. the app makes it easy. the power of angie's list makes it work. download snapfix for free.
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details on the housing market in today's number ones. hello, everyone, it is noon in the east, 9:00 in the west. welcome to weekends with alex wit. alex is off today. i'm melissa rayburger. a rally is under way in new york city for a man who died last month after being placed in a choke hold by police. you're looking at pictures from staten island where up to 15,000 people are expected today. not much of a turnout just yet but it is still early. the degreo.com's todd johnson are one of the people out there today. todd, what are you seeing so far? >> hi, melissa, can you hear me? >> yes, i can. >> i tnk